Southwest Brooklyn construction creating much-needed housing

If you’re hunting for an apartment, there’s good news on the way if your search is concentrated in neighborhoods like Gravesend, Bensonhurst and Bath Beach. But you’ll have to be patient. The housing has yet to be constructed.

Several projects are either underway or are in the planning stages to construct apartment houses in this corner of Southwest Brooklyn.

In the latest development, plans have been filed with the New York City Department of Buildings to construct a five-story building at 1665 Stillwell Ave. in Gravesend. A one-story building housing Ideal Cleaners, a dry cleaning business, currently occupies the site. The new building will contain commercial space on the first floor and 16 apartments on the floors above.

New York YIMBY was the first to report on the construction plans.

The site is located on Stillwell Avenue between Kings Highway and 23rd Avenue. The property owner is listed on New York City Department of Finance records as Refulgence LLC.

Residents waiting for a B4 bus on the corner of Stillwell Avenue and Kings Highway Thursday morning seemed generally pleased when this newspaper informed them about the plans for 1665 Stillwell Ave. The bus stop is located up the block from the site.

“I’m okay with it if they’re putting in apartments,” Li Wong said. “And if it’s five floors, that’s not too bad. It’s not like it’s a 20-story building hovering over everything.”

In another sign of new development, plans have been filed with the city to tear down a two-family home at 8800 Bay Parkway in Bath Beach and replace it with a seven-story building containing 40 apartments.

The owner is listed in Dept. of Finance records as B&J Bay Property Inc. The property was purchased on June 8, 2018 from its former owner, listed as NY Management “8” Inc., according to city records.

The site is located between two major Southwest Brooklyn thoroughfares, Bath Avenue and Cropsey Avenue.

“We have had a couple of these smaller developments recently,” Community Board 11 District Manager Marnee Elias-Pavia told this paper, referring to buildings that could be characterized as low-to-mid-rise structures.

While the new housing is welcome, Board 11 is concerned that the new buildings will eventually put a squeeze on the neighborhood’s city services.

“It puts a strain on our infrastructure. Our police and sanitation levels have remained the same for many years,” Elias-Pavia said.

With more buildings being constructed and more residents moving in, the city could take a second look to see whether service levels should be increased, she said.

“When it is an as-of-right situation, the city does not automatically look at the needs of the surrounding community,” Elias-Pavia said. As-of-right refers to the fact that a property owner is building within the zoning code and does not have to seek variances from the city to start construction.

Not all of the new construction is of the low-rise variety.

A 30-story building is already under construction at 1625 Shore Parkway, the former site of the Haym Salomon Nursing Home. The nursing home moved to 2340 Cropsey Ave. approximately a dozen years ago

Under the plans, the building will have commercial space on the first floor and 243 apartments on the floors above. Construction is expected to be completed in the fall of 2020. The property owner is listed as Cropsey Partners LLC.

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